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2005 11 13
Montréal Walkups: No. 1
By Lance Blomgren


#802—10 Ontario West

Upon entering an apartment for the first time, the visitor allows his mind to walk through the rooms ahead of him, scan the layout. He wonders what the view from the balcony will provide, what the kitchen is like, the division of space. He guesses what books he’ll find on the shelves, the style of furniture, the artwork and decorations. Every apartment is a variety of vital anatomic constituents (organs) arranged in different configurations along a recognizable axis (skeleton) which, like dogs, allow for a great range of differences within the same basic classification. “Can a Doberman have sex with a beagle?” “Only if they get along.” The first-time visitor ponders the possible discerning features this new place might possess, goes searching for the differences which give the space its definition. The first-time visitor reads the rooms for clues.

This is not the case here. Studio Living, says the billboard. Here the apartment searches for you. Long before you arrive this wide-open space has been anticipating your visit. At any time you can dress formally, pick fights, eat oysters with boxing gloves, seduce, take a nap under the table, be a Roman. You look for the signs that would normally reveal the story of a space, give it contrast or depth, but find nothing. You move around the space, step across the buckling floorboards, gaze at the busy street from the massive windows, inspect the utility closets, cupboards, cutlery and houseplants, snoop under the sink, check out the photos and decorations. The apartment eludes you. Instead, it comes at you from all sides, searches out your fears and desires. There’s a rickety chair on which you’d be nervous to sit. A long, curved oriental eggplant. There’s a vomitorium in the back where you’d be able to purge, keep the feast going, or simply unload the visceral sourness of your day. Or you could take a pleasant nap on one of the dozen or so beds littered throughout the room. Here, the space reads you, adjusts itself moment by moment.

This is the first in a series of seven texts by Lance Blomgren.
Tomorrow: 2120 Clark and Apts. D'Amours

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[email this story] Posted by David Ross on 11/13 at 06:02 AM

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